First Ætt – Freya's Ætt
Phonetic Value: K, hard C
Other Names: Ken; Kano; Kaunaz; Kanaz, Kaon, Cen.
Color: Light Red
Deities and Myths: Dwarves, Nerthus, Heimdall, Mimir
Keywords: Inspiration, Fire, Revelation, Light, Beacon, Transformation, Hope, Regeneration, Light Within the Darkness
When Interpreting Upright: Kenaz is the light in the dark, the beacon of hope, the fire that transforms and purifies. When this rune is drawn it's a sign that something is going to change soon and for the better. When you feel the most lost, this rune will help show you the way. If you are sick, you'll soon find yourself on the mend. Things will soon get better. Your life will change! This does not, however, mean that you can just sit idly by and wait, fire is an element of manifestation! You must reach for it. Just know that when this rune is pulled that your hard work is coming to a head. Healing, cleansing, purifitcation. Imagine your life is a darkness, complete darkness, Kenaz is the first spark. That first light that you walk toward. That light that will forever change how you “see” things. With it comes knowledge and inspiration. There is also an element of passion and sex associate with Kenaz as with any rune related to fire.
When Interpreting Merkstave (Reverse or Upside Down): Drawing Kenaz Merkstave signals a loss of hope, some type of break down, a sense of stagnation or standstill, a sickness or impending danger. Maybe you've lost your way and can't seem to find your sense of self anymore. Take heed of this warning and do what you can to work through the issues as they present themselves. Remember that change is often good and try not to cling to things that aren't working for you.
To help heal a wound, draw Kenaz on the bandage and imagine a nice warm healing flame enveloping the damaged area. Looking for a new change in life? Carry Kenaz in your wallet. To help with a new promotion at work, draw it on the back of your business card and carry it with you (just know that if you end up losing your job, a better new job may become available, the light in the darkness). Meditate on Kenaz when trying to find the answer to a problem. Inscribe Kenaz into candles for use in a personal transformation ritual or initiation ritual to help guide, illuminate and transform your spiritual being.
Disclaimer: This is not the end-all only interpretation for runes of the Elder Futhark. This is a learning guide written by me for teaching purposes. Each rune guide is a compilation of information that I’ve put together over the years. It is, by far, not the only source for runic meanings and I encourage everyone to research the runes further. Find out what each rune means to you.